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Need some help/advice on which laptop to buy

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May 17, 2010 2:08:46 PM

I've been recently searching for a new laptop to replace my old gateway laptop. I've been searching for something below $1000 and that had an i5 or an i7. I will be using it for gaming mostly (when not around my desktop, so not using it for gaming all day).

I usually purchase everything from Newegg, as they have extremely good deals and good service.

So as I searched for it, it pretty much came down to these 5 laptops (been liking the Lenovo the best out of these 5):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|34-146-613^34-146-613-TS,34-127-092^34-127-092-TS,34-114-803^34-114-803-TS,34-152-190^34-152-190-TS,34-115-732^34-115-732-TS

I need some advice and help choosing which one will be the best.

Some info and questions on the laptops:

Info:
- I've never used an Acer or a Lenovo laptop, so I dont know their laptop quality/performance.
- I've seen a Sony Vaio about 3 years ago and it seemed really cheap (the material). The one in my link seems different (different model, etc), but I still want some feedback on Vaio's quality/performance.

Questions:
- Any difference between 16" inch with a 1366x768 res than a 15.6" with a 1366x768 res?
- Is the 1366x768 res good for gaming? Does it distort the image and not scale fully?
- How much difference will I experience from the i5 to the i7?

More about : advice laptop buy

a c 572 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
May 17, 2010 4:13:56 PM

No difference between the 16" and 15.6" LCDs.
1366x768 res has a standard widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. Distortion or scaling will not be an issue.
i5 vs i7 - most of the time no noticeable differences. Except when you play a multi-threaded game that is more CPU bound than GPU limited. Examples would be SIM type games like GTA 4 or FSX and RTS like Arma2 or SupComFA. Most games will be GPU limited before they are CPU limited. That means a better GPU can be more important than a 4core CPU to get a balanced gaming system.

I'd suggest an Core i5 / HD 5650 over a Core i7 / GT 330M for example. And any HD 5650 over any GT 240. The HD 5730 is actually a HD 5650 (slightly faster) HD 5730 @ Notebookcheck In the right column you have a list of laptop GPUs placed in relative order of performance. You can also look up specific cards and find tech specs and benchmarks (if available).

Notebookcheck can also get you laptop reviews which should interest you. List of Sony Vaio E series reviews Of course you'll end up scratching your head and wondering how one site can rate a laptop 100% and a 2nd website giving the same model 70%. Still, the reviews are useful.

Quality wise Asus, Toshiba and Sony are thought to have a better record than Dell, Lenovo, Acer and HP. Laptop reliability survey MSI has less of a track record than the other players. MSI GE600
Just keep in mind that applies to previous models, across the whole range of models that MFGRs offer and doesn't really guarantee if you picked an Asus laptop that it would be trouble free or that you can't pick up a gem of a HP laptop.
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May 17, 2010 6:22:25 PM

Thank you for the help WR2.

So pretty much it left me with 3 laptops, the Acer, the MSI, and the Sony Vaio because of the better graphics card (which I believe its what matters the most to me at the moment).

I will still be looking into the 240M and the 330M laptops if the other specs are worth it.

So considering the Acer, MSI, and Vaio, I would rather pick the MSI or the Vaio because I dont like the Acer's design (it looks too round-ish and outdated).

The major differences between these two laptops are:
- MSI has an 430M i5 while the Vaio has an 520M i5
- MSI has an HD 5730 while the Vaio has an HD 5650
- MSI has an 7200rpm 320GB while the Vaio has an 5400rpm 320GB
- MSI price is $899 while the Vaio is $850
- All other specs are the same

Unfortunately, as I was typing this, the Vaio went "Out of Stock", but I will be waiting for it to come In Stock if he's that much better (or if anyone know where can I get the same Vaio in the same price somewhere else, because I really like the design of the Vaio).
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Related resources
May 18, 2010 6:10:23 PM

Adding two more to the list with a question about them.

The MSI GX640-098US is priced at $1099.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This Asus I found at bestbuy for $899 has all the same specs except the GTS 360M and the resolution.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+with+Intel%26...;+Core%26%23153;+i5+Processor+-+Blue/Black/9736955.p?id=1218164036446&skuId=9736955

Is it worth paying $200 more on the MSI for just the HD 5850 (The 360M on the asus is ranked #30 while the HD 5850 is ranked #29), and the higher resolution?

I need some more opinions on these laptops.

Out of the other 5 choices I had in the beginning, I decided not to get the Lenovo or the Toshiba because of their graphics card being inferior to the others. And the Sony Vaio went "Out of Stock". Pretty much it left me with these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|34-127-092^34-127-092-TS,34-152-190^34-152-190-TS,34-115-732^34-115-732-TS,34-152-191^34-152-191-TS and the Asus http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+with+Intel%26...;+Core%26%23153;+i5+Processor+-+Blue/Black/9736955.p?id=1218164036446&skuId=9736955 . Please note the price of the MSI GX640-098US if you are going to suggest him. (I would be willing to buy it if its worth the extra $200 bucks)

Thank you in advance.
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a c 572 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
May 18, 2010 6:22:31 PM

The BestBuy links 'time out' and aren't working after a bit.
@ Bestbuy: Asus G60JX Core i5-430M & GeForce GTS 360 16" 1366x768 LCD $900
Model: G60JX-RBBX05 | SKU: 9736955 http://www.bestbuy.com/ type in the SKU number on the site search option to find correct laptop.

Asus G60J review (specs are different but the rest of the review should be accurate)

I see you're reading the other posts which is good. And as you noted the two GPU models are virtually identical.
And I'd suggest the ASUS is a better choice than the MSI. I like the higher resolution a lot - I'm just not sure I like it $200's worth.
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May 18, 2010 6:41:38 PM

The Asus you suggested is the one I linked. Sorry about the broken link.

So I guess I'll be buying the $899 Asus then. It seems to have the best graphics card out of all the choices above (except maybe the $1099 MSI?).

Thank you WR2.
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